How To Identify Your Perfect PPC Target Audience


When managing a PPC campaign, it is easy to get lost in the sauce of keywords and match types as your vehicle for getting in front of your ideal customer. You may not even consider the other targeting options you have available. Here are five targeting methods you can use to identify your perfect PPC target audience.

Method #1: Targeting By Keyword

Keyword targeting is at the core of any PPC campaign. A user conducts a search that includes a term you are targeting, and your ad appears atop all other search results. Pretty simple, right? Right, but keyword targeting, especially when used to its full potential, is still an important and capable tool for finding your perfect target audience.

Say you’re a laboratory that tests consumer electronics for compliance to FCC standards before those electronics can go to market. Any manufacturer of those electronics will be searching for a laboratory that not only tests products to their standards but is certified to do so. As that laboratory, you want to be targeting the words and phrases that you believe your target audience will be using, and serve ads for your laboratory to them that way. Whenever that term shows up in a search, you want your ad to be there. At the core of this targeting method, you get the insight you wouldn’t otherwise get: user intent.

Method #2: Targeting By Topic

For instances where you need to target outside of a search engine, targeting by topic helps place your ads on webpages, apps, and videos about a certain subject. Topics are based on broad interests or industries, and you can target more specific topics from there, which only helps you in identifying your target market.

As that electronics testing laboratory, you often partner with other organizations to host technical events and presentations for electrical engineers and device manufacturers, among other audiences. When running a paid campaign for your upcoming event, you can use topic targeting (down to specific topics such as “consumer electronics” and “electrical test & measurement, among others) to have your ads appear on websites, apps, or videos that are related to consumer electronics or electrical testing. With topic targeting, you are driving awareness of your product, service, or event by putting your ad in front of users who don’t know about what you are offering, and much less, are even actively searching for it.

Method #3: Targeting By Audience

Targeting by audience goes a step beyond topic-based targeting by showing your ads to specific groups of people who have interests, intents and demographics you may be targeting. Metaphorically, audience targeting puts a face to a name. Audiences are compiled by Google based on user search history data and classified in groups of specific interests, intents and demographics accordingly, as groups that are likely to click your ads after seeing them. And your ads can even get in front of members of your audiences in areas other than your target topics. What’s more, you can use data from your target audiences to optimize bidding and targeting of your audience campaigns.

Your topic-based targeting promoting your technical event is putting your ad in front of plenty of users, but you’re wondering how you can get your ads in front of even more users. Especially users that data suggests will be especially interested based on their search history. Audience targeting will put your ads in front of those users, even if they don’t visit pages or sites that fall under your topic targeting umbrella.

Method #4: Targeting By Placement

Another targeting method that ensures your ads are in front of every possible member of your ideal target audience is placement targeting. This method allows you to target specific locations on the Google Display Network, as well as YouTube, that you know the users you want are visiting. Those locations can be entire websites, specific webpages, or mobile apps. Metaphorically, you are getting in front of the users that are right under your nose.

You know there are plenty of users out there who are visiting the websites of organizations you are partnering with for your event, but the other organization might not be promoting the event on their own. Either way, those users don’t know about the event. With placement targeting, you are putting your ads on the sites and pages that you know relevant users (and potential attendees) will visit.

Method #5: Remarketing

All the aforementioned targeting methods are perfect for compiling your ideal target audience, but they don’t guarantee that your desired users will take a valuable action upon seeing or interacting with your ad, or visiting your site. However, second chances do exist, and you can get your ads in front of users a second time, even with incentives compelling them to take the valuable actions you want them to. Remarketing makes these second chances possible.

You see that your ads for your technical event are getting a lot of impressions or clicks, but users are not converting on your ads. But, you can get your ads in front of those users again. Similar to how you create audiences to target users based on their activity, you can create audiences that consist of users who have either interacted with your ads, visited your site, or both. By getting in front of those users again, you are keeping your brand, your product (or in this case, your event) at the top of your users’ minds, and keeping those users at the top of your funnel. In your remarketing ads, you can also offer an incentive that would compel users to click on your ad and sign up for your event, such as 30% off the registration fee. With remarketing, you are topping off your ideal target audience with a group that has a higher likelihood of taking the action you want them to, shall they be given the chance.

That Sounds Great! How Do I Get Started?

Contact your Account Manager or PPC Specialist to discuss your current paid search targeting efforts, and how you can boost your PPC efforts and find your perfect target audience.